From the Back Nine: The Rat Pack

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019 1:30am
  • Opinion

Nature has decided to gift me this Christmas with rodents. They have merrily worked their way through a smorgasbord of engine wiring. Ho-Humbug-Ho.

I whined about this on Facebook and got a variety of interesting comments. It appears there is a whole underground of people infested by critters with overactive teeth.

The mechanic (as well as a cashier at Rite-Aid) informed me that modern wiring has a coating that includes soy. Critters love it. Note to auto industry: What the hell?

Friends recommended dryer sheets, crushed moth balls, peppermint oil and (my personal favorite) RODENT TAPE — which is impregnated with pepper so you cannot touch it, and that begs the question of how you actually install it.

Someone even suggested crushing up Altoids but, you know, we’re talking an entire ENGINE COMPARTMENT here.

Because I tend to overdo things, I am trying them all (except the Altoid thingy). Open my hood today, and you will find little net bags of squashed mothballs tied to hoses. It looks decorated for its own weird Christmas. The odor of Peppermint will knock you into the last century.

I confess that, for an animal lover, I’m having inappropriate thoughts about our furry friends. What heat-seeking little crappers (and I do mean crap, the aroma of which is nicely handled by the dryer sheets) have wrecked this havoc?

“Rat. Big bugger of a Norway rat,” said the mechanic. When I asked if it was gone, his eyes opened wide and round.

“Thought I heard something in there.”

“Squirrels,” said my friend. “Sweet but, well, pesky.”

I prefer this explanation.

Another friend claimed that if I lived higher in the mountains, a marmot might have worked its way in. Of course, the same guy claimed it could be a mountain goat so I don’t know how valid any of his advice might be.

Anyhoo. Any plans I had for Christmas giving to myself have now gone into engine repair. Good-bye, new computer. Good-bye, cute shoes in the color called praline.

And warning: If you are on my holiday shopping list, I do hope you have other options for the joy of receiving.

May you all find a full cup of joy in your holiday season. And drink it fast lest the holiday rodent of indoor spirits pays you a visit.

Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors and author of “Three Bears,” the newest in her Bear Jacobs mystery series, available on or at local retailers. Contact her at

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